International students – opening a bank account in the UK Gretta Gavin – Student Adviser (Guys Campus) Steve Hawdon – Student Adviser (Strand and Guys Campus)
Banking Jargon Banking terms can differ from country to country, what could these terms mean? Basic Bank Account Direct Debit Standing Order APR Switch Credit Card ATM Overdraft Debit card
Opening a Bank Account International students, new to the UK, want to be settled as soon as possible Opening a bank account helps achieve this Opening a bank account in the UK is the safest and most effective way of managing your money as a full- time student It is also easier if you seek part time employment, as most employers will pay your earnings directly into a UK bank account
What sort of bank account? Often students have difficulty opening accounts in foreign countries because the banks: take a while to process new accounts conduct additional credit checks for international applicants usually ask for extra supporting documentation
Basic bank accounts The majority of international students should be allowed to open what is called a basic bank account: Allowing students to pay money in and take it out Providing a cash-point (ATM) card to withdraw money at cash-points Basic bank accounts do not offer students any form of credit, so you will not be given any overdraft facility, chequebook or credit card Most basic accounts will not accept standing orders so you will have difficulty transferring money in from abroad
Current account International students who are here for longer than six months should be able to open a student account with more flexibility than a basic bank account with: a debit card for withdrawing cash and paying for purchases should accept direct debits/standing orders allowing you to transfer money from abroad internet banking
Which bank is best for you? Only you know the answer to this question! Consider: 1.What sort of bank account is being offered – perhaps go for one that is most generous in its facilities 2.Are there any charges? 3.What documentation is required to open the account and can you provide it all 4.Does the bank have a branch on or near campus or where you will be living? And is this important to you?
What do the different banks offer? HSBC Passport Account NatWest Advantage Blue International Lloyds TSB Classic Account Barclays International Student Account Santander International Student Account Some banks have a monthly fee between £5 and £8/month; Visa debit card or cash card; International Money Transfer; 24/7 Internet and Telephone Banking
How to open a bank account in the UK? You will normally be required to provide documentary evidence of: Your identity Student status Proof of UK address Proof of previous overseas address If you deposit a large sum of money it is more likely banks may offer you a more generous account
How to open a bank account in the UK? –Proof of identity: Valid Passport or EU National Identity Card –Proof of Student Status, UK Address and Overseas Address: Confirmation of Study letter (given out at campus registration) which will confirm: Name Course Start and end date of the course of study Current UK address Overseas address Must be signed and display the College stamp If you did not receive a letter at registration or the bank requires more information request a Confirmation of Study letter via Compass online.
Important things to consider Your name: The spelling of your name in our system needs to be identical to the spelling in your passport. If it is not, go to your campus records centre to change it. Your address: Your UK address and overseas address need to be up-to date. If they are not,log into Student Records portal and change it
How to order your bank letter You need to be enrolled in order to get a letter – you CANNOT get it before Your addresses need to be up-to-date. If they are not, you CANNOT get a letter The production time is FIVE working days (if you have not received a letter at campus registration) Apply online at
Banks we have an agreement with You are free to open you account with any bank you like, but the following three banks have approved our student letter, and been helpful to international students. HSBC Charing Cross Branch NatWest Aldwych Branch Lloyds TSB Law Courts Branch
How long does it take to open a bank account in the UK? If you decide to bank with HSBC Charing Cross and Lloyds Temple, you can usually get an account number immediately, so you can pay money in or set up a direct debit. However, it will take approximately 7 – 14 days before your account will be fully functional (your debit card and pin numbers to be sent to you etc.)
Some British banking humour… Monty Python XII93I